ANC clamps down on leaks at policy conference

The ANC is clamping down on leaks at its national policy conference‚ warning their members and leaders alike of consequences if they discuss any of the deliberations of the meeting with the media.

A copy of the rules for the event‚ seen by TimesLIVE‚ bars delegates from speaking to the media‚ leaking information from commissions or sharing documents.

“No leader or member may communicate the decisions or deliberations of any closed session‚” the rules read.

The conference‚ starting at 9am on Friday morning‚ will include an array of closed sessions where delegates will debate policy amendments.

Journalists are only allowed to attend the opening and closing session of the conference and will be briefed on the conclusion of the discussions.

“Certain documents distributed at conference may be confidential and delegates are not allowed to distribute such documents to persons who are not entitled to them‚” according to the rules.

It states that only ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa or someone he authorises to speak on behalf of the party can talk to the media.

“Comrades may not post on social media any information emanating from closed sessions and are expected to carefully consider the content and potential risks of posting sharing‚ or resending of any information from open sessions‚” the rules state.

The party has warned its members against posting insulting and derogatory statements on social media which may bring “harm to the ANC and any of its members”.

The ANC meets amid heightened divisions and factionalism as a result of a vicious leadership contest in the run-up to its December elective conference.

The divisions are likely to spill over into the policy conference but party leaders are not taking any chances.

“Delegates must refrain from any behavior which would bring the ANC or conference into disrepute. This includes singing of derogatory songs against a comrade‚ leader and alliance partners or guests. No one should distribute‚ wear or display any material that is deemed to be divisive‚” the rules note.

The adoption of these rules will be done on Friday by national chairperson Baleka Mbete after the opening address by President Jacob Zuma.

It will be followed by a report on the credentials of delegates present at the policy conference.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe is scheduled to deliver a diagnostic report on the problems facing the party which delegates would then have a chance to debate.

By Qaanitah Hunter

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